The Cost of Discipleship is Giving Up "Our" Everything...for God's Banquet of "His" Everything!
Luke 14:12-24 New International Version (NIV)
12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” The Parable of the Great Banquet 15 When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.” 16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ 19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ 20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ 21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ 22 “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’ 23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”
Monday - March 1
What is the “cost” of discipleship? Most people get this completely wrong. They think the “cost” is something that we must do or not do. They think that the “cost” is like buying a new car, like doing something to “pay” God and get a reward. These “good” works might include giving to the poor, not cheating on a spouse, being honest, or not stealing. It is true that we should do or not be doing those things anyway, but one thing is for sure: WE CANNOT EARN OUR SALVATION! That is the message of the entire Bible (especially the cross!). Instead, the “cost” of discipleship is giving up ourselves, our desires, our values, our priorities. It is losing, not winning; removing, not adding; receiving, not paying. What is keeping you from joining God’s banquet of joy, grace, mercy, and forgiveness?!